RIDGEDALE, Mo. -- PGA Tour players are no stranger to the road and playing courses all over the world. But ask many of them, and there are still destinations or specific trips they'd like to take.
That's the case with Duffy Waldorf, 52, a four-time PGA Tour winner and now competing on the Champions Tour. I had the chance to play with Duffy during the pro-am of the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge.
Waldorf, paired with Corey Pavin in the team event for the second year in a row, would eventually finish T-5 in the event, better than his T-7 with Pavin in 2014.
After our pro-am round on Wednesday at Buffalo Ridge Springs, I asked the four-time PGA Tour winner about some of his favorite courses to play on tour, as well as his favorites growing up in L.A. He would stay local for college, going on to become a two-time All-American at UCLA before turning pro in 1985.
Golf Advisor: The Legends of Golf is unique to the tour schedule in that it's a team format. It also features a par-3 course. How do you like it?
Duffy Waldorf: It's a great addition, mainly because I love a team tournament. I love having some different formats, and this format is great fun. Getting to play with Corey Pavin is a big bonus for me -- to have a great partner and a big fun week.
(Top of the Rock) is one of the most unique courses you'll ever play. It almost looks like the par 3 at Augusta National -- lots of variety, it's a real challenge to play a par 3 hole-after-hole.
GA: How much stroke play do you play at home? Or do you like to play other formats?
Waldorf: I play at Lakeside Golf Club in Los Angeles, and we always play a team game. Usually its five or six guys, two guys in the wheel and other teams of two, team play is a lot of fun to play.
It's always fun to play a team play, and it's always fun to play team and throw in a medal game to see if guys can finish 18 holes. Then there's skins; who doesn't like skins? There's good play and fortune involved in skins, so it keeps everyone in the game even if you're not having a good day.
GA: What were some of your favorite L.A. golf courses to play during your childhood?
Waldorf: I grew up playing a lot of the city courses in L.A. I lived in Tarzana, played Balboa and Encino a lot. Probably my favorite was always Wilson though, in Griffith Park. The designer there, George Thomas, helped out on the Wilson & Harding courses. Although they're not always maintained perfectly, to see the old design elements in a public course is really cool.
GA: Are there any stretches on the Champions Tour schedule that you get particularly excited about playing?
Waldorf: There are a couple, they usually involve the majors. We go to special courses. Playing the Regions Tradition and then to French Lick for the Senior PGA at the Pete Dye Course, I'm really looking forward to that little run, playing some difficult courses that are fair but really challenging and playing four rounds over them.
I really enjoy playing the Senior British Open. It's usually played at a very difficult course (at Sunningdale Golf Club in 2015). Then we go over to Minnesota (TPC Twin Cities), which is the opposite, it's a nice friendly course. You get to go from a course that's hard to break par on to a course where you feel like you better shoot 4- or 5-under each day.
I also like going up to Endicote, N.Y., at the (En-Joie Golf Club). It's nice to play there in August because we always played in September when it was cold and rainy. It's great to get to those courses in the north and Canada at the end of summer when they're in great shape.
GA: You're a big wine buff, right? Any favorite destinations for golf and wine?
A lot of times it comes down to the restaurants in the city we're in. Minnesota has some really good restaurants. We were just in Atlanta, there are lot of good steakhouses. A glass of wine with dinner is great there.
As far as destinations, Italy has wine everywhere. No matter if you're in the south or up north or Tuscany, there's always a wine destination not too far away. I look forward to going to Italy in the future too and getting to do a little more wine tasting and a little less golf.
I really want to do a golf and wine trip to New Zealand. I haven't done it yet, I look forward to doing it.
I'd also like to do a buddies trip to Scotland; usually you're grinding out in a British Open, which is different than fun golf with your buddies and heading to the pub right after. I'd love to do one of those trips. My friends have done it and had a really good time.